Sustainable Energy Mix + Fragile Environments in Canada’s Northern Coastal Zone: Is Technology Enough?

  • Mary-Ellen Tyler
  • Allan Ingelson
Part of the Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands book series (SESGI)


The Northern Marine Coastal Zone of Canada is a fragile environment with extreme temperatures and marine biodiversity comparable to the Galapagos Islands. Due to its geographic remoteness and vast size (two million square kilometers and approximately 36,000 islands) the Northern Coastal Zone is not connected to Canada’s southern interprovincial power girds but is home to 30,000 people who are primarily indigenous. Canadian leases in the Beaufort Sea alone have the production capacity of a billion barrels of oil. Climate change and sea ice change is opening up Canada’s artic marine coastal zone to an increasingly longer ice free shipping season which has the potential to increase tourism, mining, oil and gas development, and related tide water port facilities. The development and infrastructure challenges of northern coastal zone development are not just technological. This chapter examines the social, cultural, legal, financial, and environmental opportunities and constraints involved in creating a sustainable energy mix in northern Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental DesignUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of LawCanadian Institute of Resources Law, University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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